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Does the mobility of R&D labor increase innovation?

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  • Kaiser, Ulrich
  • Kongsted, Hans Christian
  • Rønde, Thomas

Abstract

We investigate the effect of mobility of R&D workers on the total patenting activity of their employers. Our study documents how mobile workers affect the patenting activity of the firm they join and the firm they leave. The effect of labor mobility is strongest if workers join from patent-active firms. We also find evidence of a positive feedback effect on the former employer's patenting from workers who have left for another patent-active firm. Summing up the effects of joining and leaving workers, we show that labor mobility increases the total innovative activity of the new and the old employer. Our study which is based on the population of R&D active Danish firms observed between 1999 and 2004 thus provides firm-level support for the notion that labor mobility stimulates overall innovation of a country or region due to knowledge transfer.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaiser, Ulrich & Kongsted, Hans Christian & Rønde, Thomas, 2014. "Does the mobility of R&D labor increase innovation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-115, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:14115
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    Cited by:

    1. Kaiser, Ulrich & Kuhn, Johan M., 2016. "Worker-level and firm-level effects of a wage subsidy program for highly educated labor: Evidence from Denmark," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1939-1943.
    2. Laurent Bergé & Nicolas Carayol & Pascale Roux, 2017. "How do inventor networks affect urban invention?," CREA Discussion Paper Series 17-03, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    3. Beck, Mathias & Junge, Martin & Kaiser, Ulrich, 2017. "Public Funding and Corporate Innovation," IZA Discussion Papers 11196, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Simeth, Markus & Mohammadi, Ali, 2017. "The impact of open innovation on employee mobility and entrepreneurship," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 449, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    5. Oscar Mauricio Valencia, 2014. "Endogenous Growth and Research Activity under Private Information," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 012169, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    6. Marino, Marianna & Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario, 2016. "Educational diversity and knowledge transfers via inter-firm labor mobility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 168-183.
    7. Ambra, Poggi & Piergiovanna, Natale, 2017. "Learning by hiring, network centrality and within-firm wage dispersion," Working Papers 369, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 19 Aug 2017.
    8. Koski, Heli & Pajarinen, Mika, 2015. "Mobility of ideas for innovation: The role of inventor-specific knowledge flows," ETLA Working Papers 27, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    9. Igna, Ioana A., 2018. "The effects of educational mismatch on inventor productivity. Evidence from Sweden, 2003-2010," Papers in Innovation Studies 2018/8, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    10. Jose E. Gomez-Gonzalez & Oscar Mauricio Valencia, 2014. "Innovation and Growth under Private Information," Borradores de Economia 845, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor mobility; innovation; research and development; patenting;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation

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